Degree Name

BA

Department

Germanic and Slavic Languages

College

Humanities

Defense Date

2004

Publication Date

2004-2

First Faculty Advisor

Robert McFarland

Second Faculty Advisor

Cindy Brewer

Honors Coordinator

Alan Keele

Abstract

This thesis examines the contribution which the 1920s works of Viennese journalist and novelist Ann Tizia Leitich made on the Austrian consideration of the new woman during the interwar period. Following World War I, European society was both infatuated and repulsed by American culture, and especially by American women. While many European women began to look to the United States as the model of the “new woman,” others harshly criticized the changes which American influence and the image of the American woman had brought to Europe. As an Austrian living in the United States and writing newspaper articles and other works for an audience back home, Leitich was able to provide a close-up analysis of American culture and the American new woman which was unavailable through other media. As one of the few qualified to instruct Austrian women about their American counterparts, Leitich used the opportunity to explain and demonstrate the characteristics of the American new woman. Her writings focus on the simultaneous independence and femininity of American women. These writings reveal both the strengths and flaws of America, but ultimately reflect Leitich's belief that Europeans can benefit from a true understanding and emulation of American culture. Her overall intent is to convince her Austrian readers that the qualities of the American new woman could benefit European society.

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